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Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 22: Despair, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Teddy Lupin and the Hunter's Moon, Chapter 22: Despair, pt. 2
Last day of work before my move! Wow. This is, like... real, or something.

Returning to the not-real posthaste, After Vivian's disappearance and her subsequent involvement in an attack, the school is arguing about treatment of werewolves, and Teddy withdraws a little, spending some time with Victoire. But the situation forces himself on him the next Monday morning, when an owl arrives for Neville, who takes it, then rushes off against Sprout's wishes. Sprout takes his classes, but the students are all gossiping. Victoire tries to throw them off the scent. Late that night, Teddy is watching the Marauder's Map, and sees Neville arrive back with Alderman and Evvie. He decides to ignore curfew and go out to see what's happening.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far




The night was cool, but not cold, and late fog passed over Teddy's skin like the hand of a drowned woman, trying to pull him under the surface of the world. The greenhouse ahead of him was surrounded by a fuzzy halo. He was very close before he could see the three figures inside of it, and then only in blurry splashes of color.

Professor Longbottom seemed to be in a chair, a spill of brown and red, flowing down like a willow's leaves, pooling on the greenhouse floor. Beside him was a black rock, its brownish-white top bobbing seriously. The only fully human form was Evelyn Blondin, was closest to the greenhouse wall. She picked up a blanket and brought it to Professor Longbottom, wrapped it around his shoulders, then began to pick through the plants, looking for something.

Teddy didn't pause before opening the door.

Professor Longbottom looked up at him dully through a mask of clotting blood and said, "It's past curfew, Lupin."

"Is there anything I can do?" Teddy asked Evvie.

"No, I know what I'm looking for. Just go over and make sure he keeps warm."

Teddy went to Professor Longbottom, who watched him come with no further protests about curfew, and allowed him to tighten the blanket. "Are you all right?"

"Fine." He mopped at some of the blood on his face, smearing it around, then said, "Scratches."

"Is Vivian all right?"

"As long as Greyback decides she should be," Professor Longbottom said bitterly, "I saw him carry her away. I tried to get to her, but she ran."

"Neville," Père Alderman said, "that's not because she doesn't care. She cares a great deal." He looked at Teddy and said, "She's just trying to keep you out of it. You know that Lupin did the same to Tonks the whole time he was with Greyback. But they came back together in the end..."

Teddy caught the hopeful look, and knew he was expected to chime in with the great miracle of his own existence, but since the only thing he could think of to say was, "Sure, I'll bet you'll both have a good ten months to live once she gets her head straight," he decided that silence might be better. Instead of picking up his expected role, he went to the cupboard near Professor Longbottom's desk and got out the tea set, then set about brewing some.

"Here," Evvie said, handing Teddy a pinch of something green. "Add this to the infuser. It will help with the bleeding."

Teddy took the leaves and added them, then dipped the infuser into the pot and tapped it with his wand to start the brew, giving it a little twist of magic to speed up the process. He Levitated the teapot and a cup over to the table in front of Professor Longbottom and sat down across from him. Evvie and Père Alderman sat on either side.

Professor Longbottom poured the tea and took a sip, then looked down at his cup. "Thank you, Teddy," he said. "You really ought to be back in Gryffindor Tower. You oughtn't be wandering around the grounds. We still don't know how that bitch is getting around."

Teddy had never heard him swear when he knew a student was listening before, but it wasn't entirely surprising. "What happened? Was that letter about Vivian?"

"It was from Vivian," he said, then fell into a morose silence.

"Where is she?" Teddy asked.

"We don't know now," Evelyn said. "Neville brought us the letter this morning. It came with a Ural owl, and Greyback always had a sort of loose connection to a Romanian werewolf tribe in the Carpathians. We took a guess. We were right, they were there, but--"

"--but so were a lot of others," Professor Longbottom said. "I ran in without looking. I know better than that. I should have got a better feel for the situation. But she said..." He looked at Teddy, and Teddy could almost feel him trying to soften what he meant to say, then just shuddered and went on. "She said she was writing to say goodbye. That she meant to... that if she didn't, Greyback would keep making her do things."

"She meant to hurt herself?" Teddy said, and turned to Père Alderman for confirmation. It didn't make sense. "She meant to kill herself?"

"I think so," Père Alderman said.

"But she was still alive when you left?"

"We can thank Greyback," Evvie told him bitterly. "He'll let her do it eventually if we don't get her back, but for now, he's having too much fun torturing her."

"Whatever the reason," Père Alderman said, "she's still alive. So if we have to thank Greyback for it, we will. And we'll get her away, and take care of her."

Teddy shook his head. "But it's something he's doing. She shouldn't... it's not her fault. It's just something he made her do. She should hurt him! What's she trying to hurt herself for? It's stupid!"

"You'll have no argument from me," Professor Longbottom said. He drew something from his pocket, and Teddy recognized Vivian's wand, the one she'd stolen from Greyback when she'd left him as a child, the one that contained a hair from every werewolf in his pack, including Vivian, Alderman, Evvie, and Dad. Mathilde had batted it away during the confrontation in Hagrid's paddock; Professor Longbottom must have picked it up. "Six months ago, she was going to use this to kill him," he said. "God, I wish I'd been able to get it back to her." He finished his tea, then said, "You really need to get back, Teddy. I'm grateful that you were concerned, but you don't belong here. I'll take you back." He stood, then swayed alarmingly.

Evelyn sat him back down. "You're not going anywhere. You need to send for Madam... er... your school Healer."

"Pomfrey," Teddy said, and sent his Patronus to the infirmary with the message "Professor Longbottom hurt, greenhouse one."

Somewhere, Professor Longbottom managed to find a very small smile. "You know she'll call you on being out."

"Oh, well."

"I'll get Teddy back to the castle," Père Alderman said.

"Yes. Thank you." Professor Longbottom frowned at a cut on his arm. "For everything. Really."

Alderman nodded curtly, then put his hand on Teddy's shoulder and led him back outside. "You know not to tell any of the other students what you saw tonight," he said. "Your professor is in quite enough pain without that."

"I know," Teddy said. "What can I do? About all of this?"

"Nothing."

"No, really, I can't just sit here and..."

"Yes, you can. Because there's nothing else for you to do. Be careful. Keep your eyes open. But beyond that, I can't think of anything else, unless you're religious, in which case, pray."

"What really happened, Father?"

Alderman paused. They were in the darkest spot on the route from the greenhouses to the castle door, the place where the greenhouse lights had ended and the castle lights hadn't quite reached. "Neville came to France this morning with Vivian's note. Evvie and I were working there. The others were all off looking in other places. At first, I didn't think Greyback would be mad enough to go back to an old ally, but of course, there's not much he's not mad enough for, really. Evvie said we ought to try.

"We got there through the creature network--your friend Charlie Weasley got us through and gave us the talismans we'd need to get into the villages in the mountains. There's a reason Romania is known for vampires, you know. Anyway, these particular friends of Greyback's are under a vampire's patronage. They watch over him in the daytime and keep people in terror when he can't act. We had to get to the castle. So we did.

"We got as far as the door, and we saw Vivian at the top of the stairs. He's taken her eye, you know. She looked horrible. But Greyback said that he meant to keep her around. And that he meant to keep us, as long as we'd wandered in. That was when the other pack attacked us. Neville's a damned good fighter."

Teddy nodded. "Everyone knows that."

"I didn't really know what it meant until he took out six of the ones attacking us. But they kept coming. Evvie and I fought them as well as we could, but we were pushed out of the castle. We saw Greyback riding away on a gray horse, with Vivian behind him. Another horse came out. I'm guessing Mathilde."

"Black hair, short robes?"

"Yes."

"That's her."

Alderman nodded. "They got away. I don't know who else is left with him, but he's obviously building up new alliances."

"Well, can't we tell Uncle Harry? Couldn't he get all of them?"

"No. The vampire who this new pack works for is part of the Romanian Ministry, and they're under his protection. Technically, we were breaking in. The British Ministry could complain about them harboring a British criminal, but Harry can't just go in and grab him."

"Great." They started moving again. Teddy felt vaguely sick. "Maybe I could research Romanian magical law," he said. "I'm sure we have books."

"Teddy, you should be doing your schoolwork. Think about other things!"

"I do, that's the problem, I think about too many other things."

"This isn't your responsibility."

"But I feel..." Teddy's stomach did a slow roll.

"What?"

"Nothing."

Père Alderman stopped at the base of the castle's front steps and said, "Teddy, if you need to talk to me, you can."

"A confession?" Teddy said. "I'm Protestant."

Alderman smiled. "So that means I can't absolve you. It also means that you don't believe I could absolve you if I were allowed to try. So we'll just call it talking. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who's outside of things. And I'm more than happy to listen to you."

"Because you owe my father?"

"Because I sort of promised mine," Alderman said, winking up at the sky. "But also because I like you, Teddy. You're a good boy. And I think there are a lot of things you don't say to anyone."

Teddy felt everything wanting to come up--how he was worried about his games and the girls and his marks instead of Vivian, how he was angry about Mum and the battle, how he felt like he couldn't do anything when he was supposed to. But in the end, he just shook his head and shrugged. "I'm fine," he said. "Thanks, though. I'll go in now."

He opened the great door and slipped into the shadows of the entrance, and looked out at the world until the door swung shut on it and Père Alderman.
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Comments
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From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Happy that Teddy finally let it all out. I think Pere Alderman would make a great listener. Oh, Neville, heartbroken and still so awesome.

G'ah to that stupid Greyback. I know it's been said before, but it bears repeating: what an ass.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Greyback could serve as the picture beside the definition, though it might get confusing as it's also beside "psycho" and "bastard."
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
He does. Really, really does.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 7th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
It kills me that Vivian would want to hurt herself rather than Greyback - but it's all too realistic. I really hope she makes it through this in one piece physically, if not mentally.

Greyback on a horse is an odd image - but then, I suppose he'd have a pretty good affinity with animals. Can't see him using a saddle, though :).

Just out of curiosity: When Pere Alderman says he promised his father, is he talking about the late Mr. Alderman or about God? Or is it supposed to be ambiguous?
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 7th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Eek! I can't believe I forgot - good luck with your move! I am delighted to welcome you to our lovely time zone :).
amamama From: amamama Date: December 7th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Link)
*sniff* Oh, dear God. I figured Vivian would like to leave this world instead of being used by Greyback, but my... This hurts, you know. And while I find myself shaking my head at my silliness, I still can't help it. Greyback's and Mathilde's miserable demise just can't come fast enough. I so want them dead. I don't want Vivian dead, but considering you're going to make the story interview!canon, I do think it would be best for her. She cares too much to be able to have a decent life after what Greyback does to her.

A small nit: The only fully human form was Evelyn Blondin, was closest to the greenhouse wall. either remove the was after the comma, or add who before was.

Thanks. :)

Edited at 2007-12-07 07:59 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was definitely meant to be a "who" there.

The demise is coming fairly soon. I'll find out about Vivian probably an hour before everyone else. I have two or three things floating around my head. Two have her alive and one has her dead, but I'm not sure where the needle will point when the time comes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd been pressing the refresh button for half an hour, hoping this would come up in time to read it before I head for work, so thanks!

"Despair" may not be your preferred title for this chapter, but it's certainly descriptive!

Père Alderman is just what you'd want from a friend-who-is-a-priest: thoughtful, upfront about where he's coming from, ready to listen, and not pushing his beliefs down anyone's throat.

A couple of typos:
Above the cut, you have "himself" where I expect you meant "itself".
Hm, I thought there was another near the beginning (before I got too sucked in to notice), but I don't remember it now...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for they typo catch.

Alderman's vocation is working with all werewolves who cross his path (along with more standard duties), so he's probably very used to working with non-Catholics.
mrs_norris_mous From: mrs_norris_mous Date: December 7th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Religion


Although there is religion in jk's books it is never explicit.

"A confession?" Teddy said. "I'm Protestant."

btw: As A non religious person in the UK Protestant is a term I associate with Northern Island. Most people if the have a religion I guess would be Anglican.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_Kingdom

Anyway enjoying your work as usual
ladyphoenixia From: ladyphoenixia Date: December 7th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Religion

Doesn't "Protestant" just refer to all the non-Catholic sections of christianity, like a blanket term covering all the anglicans and presbyterians and baptists and such? That's how I always interpreted it...
Re: Religion - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Religion - (Anonymous) - Expand
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
teddy and alderman are such boys.
...short robes?"

"Yes."

"That's her."
got_it_bub From: got_it_bub Date: December 7th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops that was me
From: tree_and_leaf Date: December 7th, 2007 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Aargh, this keeps getting darker and darker!

I do like Fr. Alderman, though, and hopefully eventually Teddy will be able to talk to him. He'd be a good person - used to listening, absolutely confidential, cares about Teddy but is much less emotionally involved than Harry.

And all the best with your move!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think eventually, Teddy will talk to him. Hope so, anyway.
jedi_chick From: jedi_chick Date: December 7th, 2007 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that Teddy got to talk a little to someone, though I do wish he would have taken Alderman up on the opportunity to unload a bit more. But of course, being a teenage boy (and a son of Remus) he would never make things that easy... ;~)

Poor, poor Vivian. I can understand why she would contemplate it, but still... And Neville commenting on how she wanted to use her wand to kill Greyback, and how he couldn't get it back to her made me tear up.

"Neville's a damned good fighter."

Teddy nodded. "Everyone knows that."

Hee. Neville FTW again! ;~)

Good luck with your move!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
being a teenage boy (and a son of Remus) he would never make things that easy... ;~)

Yeah. I'm surprised Teddy wasn't born with a padlock on his mouth, for all the likelihood of him being completely open with anyone...
mrs_redboots From: mrs_redboots Date: December 7th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
We still don't know how that bitch is getting around."

It's funny, for me, as an Englishwoman, that is not swearing, just descriptive of a female werewolf (well, how else would one refer to a female canine?).

This is so good. I shall be sorry when it finishes. Best of luck with your move.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, it is unintentionally descriptive, isn't it?
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: December 7th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Blargh, poor Vivian. Poor Neville.

I wish Teddy had spit out some of those things in his mind to Alderman, who I think could have made him feel a little better. But he is, after all, 14.

Good luck with your last day of work. That's always a tough thing; I'll be thinking of you. When is the actual move?
From: smishli Date: December 7th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
That scene at the end with Pere Alderman reminded me of the scene in CoS where Dumbledore asks Harry if he has anything he wants to tell him, and Harry's like, mmm no. And readers everywhere gnashed their teeth in frustration :).

And oh Neville. Poor, poor Neville.
From: smishli Date: December 7th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I forgot to add, good luck with your move and all the drama that goes with it!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
*curls up under her desk and whimpers*

I always save your story for last when I get home, reading it after I've done everything else that needed to be done on the internet - and then I spend all evening waiting for tomorrow.
I couldn't possibly read it before work ´- not just because there's no time, but because I'd spend all day retelling it to my colleagues and worrying! As it is, I only quote the funny bits at them, as far as it's possible without mentioning Teddy, my favourite colleague is a film-only person (*shakes head at her*) and I'm not allowed to spoil her.

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure Teddy will make it into the movies. She may never know. Grr.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
lollapulizer From: lollapulizer Date: December 7th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Will Greyback leave Romania now that he knows they know he's there?

Anyways, that scene between Alderman and Teddy was really good. And I feel so badly for Neville (who was definitely being stupidly rash) and Vivian. I figure Vivian's going to die, but I can't decide how I would rather it happen. Maybe she could die after attacking Greyback and tearing his throat out. Okay..that was a bit gruesome (and possibly too much), but she gets her revenge!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure where Greyback's going to be for the next month and a half or so. I'm going to do one of those lovely Potterverse time-slips, I think. ;p
willowbough From: willowbough Date: December 7th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
::winces:: While you might decide to change the title of this chapter, "Despair" is proving all too accurate in Neville and Vivian's case. If by some miracle Vivian survives, maybe she'll go into religious orders like Alderman? That might be one way in which she could make expiation for what she considers her guilt.

Greyback has racked up even more karma points, and so has his creepy little groupie. I look forward to seeing them get what's coming to them.

Hope Teddy reconsiders talking to Alderman. It might do them both a lot of good.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eventually, I think Teddy will reconsider. I'm not sure about Vivian.
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